Young girl missing, feared succumbed, in African bush.
The children giggle as they stalk through the tall grass of the African
bush. Five Masai boys and a European girl. At ten years of age, she
is a year older than her playmates. She has plastered her face and
arms with mud from the river so as not to attract attention from the
Out of sight of their parents, the boys painted their faces like Masai
warriors. They wear the red shuka of their tribe. The girl is cloaked
in red cotton too. She blends with her African playmates.
Each child wields a five foot spear. A mahogany shaft tipped with a honed, leaf-shaped steel blade. Strapped to their left arms, they bear
water-buffalo-hide shields. They are playing at an imaginary hunt.
The mark of a Masai warrior is to kill an African lion with nothing more than spear and shield. Then he may choose the girl of his dreams and wear the lion’s mane on his head.
Ceremonial headgear for children are stuffed birds they have downed in flight. This gang of adventurers sport tail feathers in their hair. They wander along a game path far from the village.
Padding down the trail toward them is a young male lion. The carnivore comes across the playmates barring his path and bristles.
The children drop to their knees as they have seen adult warriors do.
They slant their spears at the lion, planting the shafts in the earth
so if the lion pounces he might impale himself. They kneel shoulder
to shoulder, angling their spears forward, clutching their shields to
The lion snarls a warning. He grunts and paces forward. Then to break their courage and scatter them, he feints. He could claw their
throats in seconds. Growling and swishing his tail, he advances on
the little warriors.
But the children don’t scatter. One stands to face the king of beasts. It
is the ten year old girl. She confronts the big cat with her eyes.
‘Lo murrani, Supa. We greet you. We children are the bright moon. Do not make our mothers cry.’
The lion fixes his eyes on her and twitches his tail. He is about to
‘You may be fierce, Mr Lion, but we can be fierce too if you make us.
Beware our spears, we have polished the blades with pig fat. Do you
want pig fat in your chest? We are warriors, protectors of our
The lion bares his fangs. A rumble erupts through his throat.
‘Enkai our god is watching you, oh lion. Beware for Enkai has two faces, a black one and a red one. Do not enrage the red face.’
The lion’s claws are out and he paws the air at her.
‘Stop complaining, Mr Lion. An elephant does not tire of his tusks. Go home to your wife. Na kitok Takuenya to missus lion. She awaits you.
‘Tell her you have spared Angelina Freyer, daughter of Tom and Daisy Freyer. Spare these Masai friends of mine too, oh great one.’
The lion grumbles.
‘Sere mister lion, sere to you … ashe naleng … goodbye. You must go
now. We mean you no harm.’
The five boys kneeling with their spears and shields alongside her, gape as the animal switches his tail and grunts before turning aside and padding away through the grass.
One of them has voided his bowels.
(From the novel: The Girl Who Tweaked Two Lions’ Tails.)
On Saturday 8 September, for twenty four hours, I’m giving away a couple of hundred Kindle copies of this novel. It pays to offer free samples. That’s Amazon’s Pacific Standard Time. In South Africa, probably around 10 a.m. Saturday morning to about 10 a.m. Sunday morning.
The Girl received 119 Likes on Smashwords before I moved her to Amazon.com
Genre themes: Girl-power, humour, struggle to survive, hunger, African adventure, murder, diamond smuggling, young love, suspense, you ain’t beat till you quit.